Man sues Grand Canyon for not letting him study its rocks
A geologist is suing the Grand Canyon because park authorities wouldn't allow him to remove a bunch of rocks from the historic site to aid in his research.
"Young-earth creationist" Andrew Snelling, who holds a doctorate in geology from the University of Sydney, wants to prove that the historic canyon was actually formed after the giant Biblical flood that necessitated the building of Noah's Ark.
Snelling, who believes the Earth was created just thousands of years ago, says he wants to take up to 60 fist-sized rocks from the Grand Canyon to prove his theory.
According to the Washington Times, park officials rejected Snelling's initial request, claiming he could find similar samples outside of the park that wouldn't disturb the national landmark.
After Snelling tweaked and submitted his second research proposal, he was still rejected by the park.
That's when a Christian legal advocacy group filed a suit on his behalf, claiming his faith and scientific viewpoints were "the actual reason behind the rejection," according to The Atlantic.
"The government isn't allowed to discriminate against someone based on their viewpoint, and National Park officials have absolutely no legal justification in stopping a scientist from conducting research simply because they don't agree with his views," said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom. "Using someone's views to screen them for a government benefit is unconstitutional."
It's worthy to note that all research in the national park is restricted, especially if it requires collecting and removing materials.